November 18, 2015

The Smell of Fear

I can smell it in the air, just like I did after 9/11.

Fear with a capital F.

Students walk in the door with the faint whiff of why am I doing this circling them.  

What does this fear make us do? Check out locks, call our kids to tell them we love them, cancel vacations and rein everything in until we feel safe enough to stick our necks out again. 

It stops us cold. And we lock our breath. 

Some of us have a hard time recovering, that is, getting back to where we feel free enough to be ourselves again, while some of us never get going again. 

Who wins then? 

As this article in the NYTimes suggests, the response to the attack in Paris on the part of those in Fashion and Art has been to scale everything back, mute it down, and maintain a let's-not-toot-our-horn-just-right-now approach.

There’s a temptation, when confronted with fear, sadness and human loss, to turn away from luxury; a natural instinct to dismiss frivolous subjects as inappropriate at such a serious time. —NYTimes 

Likewise, are opera, cabaret, dance, theatre, rock & roll, Broadway and music lessons a luxury that must be discontinued in the face of fear? I mean: shouldn't we be making bombs instead? 

No! I say—a thousand times No

Whatever the actions of others, let us not rob ourselves of our humanity.

Photo Credit: Pinterest 

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